Are you looking to answer the question, can dogs eat hummus safely? For readers wanting a straight answer, it’s no! If you want more details on why it’s unhealthy for dogs to eat hummus, then carry on reading.
First, what is hummus? I’m sure most people know its main ingredient is chickpeas. But that’s not the danger for dogs. It’s the garlic and lemon juice that also goes into making hummus that’s the problem.
It’s never a good idea to feed a dog human food because it happens to be good for humans. Dogs have a different digestive system than ours, so they cannot eat some of our food without it giving them diarrhea or worse.
It’s fair to say most dogs don’t have an off-switch where food is concerned and will eat until they throw up. So the responsibility for what they eat and how much falls squarely on the dog’s parents.
Food Toxic To Dogs
Human food will often contain ingredients toxic to dogs, for example, chocolate, grapes (raisins), certain nuts, like almonds and macadamia nuts, onions, and garlic. If you don’t know what is toxic or harmful, there’s every chance you’ll feed them something that has the potential to make a dog too ill.
As we pointed out earlier, garlic is one of these toxic foods and is always in hummus (if preparing it the traditional way). Both garlic and onions are of the allium family and contain a thiosulfate substance, and dogs cannot adequately digest this.
When a dog develops a thiosulfate build-up, hemoglobin in red blood cells begins to clump together, causing the blood cells to burst. Destroy enough red blood cells, and anemia will occur. The dog’s body will then become starved of oxygen. How deficient the anemia is will depend on how much garlic was eaten by the dog. Some dogs will have a severe reaction from eating even a tiny amount.
Feeding small amounts of garlic over a more extended period can have the same effect. The resulting symptoms may take many days before a dog owner will become aware of them. Signs may include lethargy, vomiting, breathing difficulties, collapse, higher than regular heart rate, a blue tinge to gums.
How Much Garlic Is Toxic To Dogs?
Although dogs can react differently to eating garlic, it can be more severe in some; there’s an amount to consider as a rule.
To cause toxicity in dogs, the amount of garlic in ounces would be about 0.5% of the dog’s weight. For example, a Havanese weighing 20lbs would need to eat 1.6 ounces of garlic for any outward signs. Roughly about a quarter to half a garlic bulb.
This information is going to sound confusing, but there are garlic supplements available. Some dog owners swear it’s a good remedy for fleas and ticks. While this might be true, does it outweigh the known health hazards to a dog when they eat garlic? For me, the answer would be no.
Can My Dog Eat Chickpeas?
We’ve said the main ingredients in hummus are chickpeas. So what about these? Can my dog eat chickpeas? Yes, he can, as long as you prepare them with nothing added that can harm a dog (as in the case of hummus).
If you read the label on your dog’s food, you might notice an ingredient called garbanzo beans, which is another name for chickpeas.
Benefits Of Chickpeas For Dogs
Chickpeas are dog-friendly beans similar to soybeans and black beans. They contain protein, folate, magnesium, and potassium. They help regulate blood sugar, have Vitamin A for eye health, Vitamin B, and C for the immune system.
There’s also some healthy fiber in them, but best to feed them sparingly if your dog is a bit gassy.
If you decide to add some chickpeas to your dog’s regular diet, don’t get them from a can. There’s far too much sodium, and in any case, fresh is so much better.
Can My Dog Eat Tahini?
The second ingredient in hummus is tahini. Is this toxic to dogs? No, it’s not. Tahini is a paste made from the ground up toasted sesame seeds.
Tahini paste is OK for dogs. Sesame seeds themselves aren’t going to do anything for your dog; they have difficulty digesting them.
There might even be some health benefits for your dog, eating tahini in moderation. Sesame seeds have plenty of protein, fatty acids, manganese, copper, calcium, and vitamin B1.
Outweighing the benefits, though, are the number of calories it contains. There’s a whopping 190 calories in two tablespoons. Now that’s not much tahini for so many calories. Begs the question, why bother.
Dogs will get the same benefits from feeding them good dog food for fewer calories.
If My Dog Eats Hummus, What Should I Do?
The first question to ask is how much did he eat? If it’s a lick or a tiny amount, it probably won’t affect him. Unless he’s a toy breed, then keep a careful eye on him.
If you know your dog has eaten a whole plateful, then you need to observe him. If he starts to vomit, is drooling excessively, has obvious abdominal pains, then take him to your vet. If it’s at the wrong time of day, take him to a pet hospital.
If you don’t see any signs of illness, but you know for sure he ate a decent portion, I would still keep observing him. Symptoms of garlic poisoning can occur days later.
Can Dogs Eat Hummus Safely – Key Takeaways
Hummus is now a trendy snack in the west and is a favorite in many homes. It’s not an expensive snack to buy, and many people find it easy to prepare at home. So there’s more chance that a dog will snaffle a few portions of hummus for himself.
One of the ingredients, garlic, is toxic to dogs, while another, lemon juice, is not suitable. So bear this in mind when you’re watching your favorite TV show and snacking on some hummus.
The other ingredients may benefit your dog, but the number of calories and such small amounts don’t make it worthwhile to feed him those. There are far healthier snacks you can feed him that contain fewer calories for more benefit.
As a kid, I grew up with lots of dogs in my family. My earliest recollection was a Labrador mix called Bruce, and I must have only been about three years old.
When I was around seven, we began to move around frequently, so having a dog was very difficult until we adopted a baby long-haired Dachshund. I was thirteen by then. We called him Pepe; I have no idea why; all I can say was it wasn’t my idea. But he did seem to grow into the name.
I’ve personally been the parent of a Great Dane called Lady, a French Bulldog we called Spike. I have also had the privilege of being the parent of one of the gorgeous cats on the planet; a British Blue Shorthair called Ellie. Right now, we have an amazing little Havanese in our family; we call Biscuit; he’s four years old.
I pride myself on being the very best dog-parent I can be. I refuse to bring a dog into my life without investing as much time as possible to understand that dog’s particular needs. Every dog I have parented has been an experience, and they are all different with incredible personalities.
To understand dogs as much as possible, I have taken several courses regarding dog care and training. The most recent course is The Truth About Cats And Dogs, offered by The University Of Edinburgh.
My dogs and cat have been the funniest and most unique animals I have ever been privileged to spend my life with. They can teach human beings so much if we take the time to watch and listen to them. My ambition is to share what I have learned with other passionate dog lovers.
I am obsessed with writing and researching everything I can about dog health, care, psychology, and finding the best dog products available to help ensure a dog’s life is as happy and contented as possible.